Tinospora cordifolia (common names gurjo, heart-leaved moonseed, guduchi or giloy) is a herbaceous vine of the family Menispermaceae indigenous to tropical regions of the Indian subcontinent.It has been used in Ayurveda to treat various disorders, but in spite of clinical investigation, the effectiveness of such treatments remains uncertain.
It is a large, deciduous, extensively-spreading, climbing vine with several elongated twining branches. Leaves are simple, alternate, and exstipulate with long petioles up to 15 cm (6 in) long which are roundish and pulvinate, both at the base and apex with the basal one longer and twisted partially and half way around. It gets its name heart-leaved moonseed by its heart-shaped leaves and its reddish fruit. Lamina are broadly ovate or ovate cordate, 10–20 cm (4–8 in) long or 8–15 cm (3–6 in) broad, seven nerved and deeply cordate at base, membranous, pubescent above, whitish tomentose with a prominent reticulum beneath. Flowers are unisexual, small on separate plants and appearing when the plant is leafless, greenish-yellow on axillary and terminal racemes. Male flowers are clustered, but female flowers are usually solitary. It has six sepals in two series of three each. The outer ones are smaller than the inner. It has six petals which are smaller than sepals, obovate, and membranous. Fruits aggregate in clusters of one to three. They are ovoid smooth drupelets on thick stalks with sub terminal style scars, scarlet or orange colored.
Endophytic fungi colonize the living, internal tissues of their host without causing any harmful effects. A recent study has shown that 29 endophytes belonging to different taxa were present in the samples collected from Tinospora cordifolia.
Extracts of the endophytic fungus Nigrospora sphaerica obtained from T. cordifolia were found to have insecticidal properties against the Oriental leafworm moth (Spodoptera litura), a polyphagous pest.
Tinospora cordifolia contains diverse phytochemicals, including alkaloids, phytosterols, glycosides, tinosporide,and other mixed chemical compounds.
Although used in Ayurveda over centuries in the belief that Tinospora has medicinal properties.
During the 2020-22 COVID-19 outbreak in India, the Ministry of AYUSH recommended use of T. cordifolia ("giloy") as a home remedy for immune support,but such a practice appeared to be associated with hepatitis cases among six people in Mumbai who used boiled or capsule preparations of the plant.
Autoimmune hepatitis, formerly known as lupoid hepatitis, plasma cell hepatitis, or autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, is a chronic, autoimmune disease of the liver that occurs when the body's immune system attacks liver cells, causing the liver to be inflamed. Common initial symptoms may include fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, or weight loss or signs of acute liver inflammation including fever, jaundice, and right upper quadrant abdominal pain. Individuals with autoimmune hepatitis often have no initial symptoms and the disease may be detected by abnormal liver function tests and increased protein levels during routine bloodwork or the observation of an abnormal-looking liver during abdominal surgery.
Bergenia is a genus of ten species of flowering plants in the family Saxifragaceae, native to central Asia, from Afghanistan to China and the Himalayan region.
An endophyte is an endosymbiont, often a bacterium or fungus, that lives within a plant for at least part of its life cycle without causing apparent disease. Endophytes are ubiquitous and have been found in all species of plants studied to date; however, most of the endophyte/plant relationships are not well understood. Some endophytes may enhance host growth, nutrient acquisition and improve the plant's ability to tolerate abiotic stresses, such as drought and decrease biotic stresses by enhancing plant resistance to insects, pathogens and herbivores. Although endophytic bacteria and fungi are frequently studied, endophytic archaea are increasingly being considered for their role in plant growth promotion as part of the core microbiome of a plant.
In early ayurvedic medicine, rasāyana is the practice of techniques for lengthening lifespans and invigorating the body. It is one of the eight areas of medicine in Sanskrit literature. In Vedic alchemy, "rasa" also means "metal" or "a mineral".
Sida cordifolia is a perennial subshrub of the mallow family Malvaceae native to India. It has naturalized throughout the world, and is considered an invasive weed in Africa, Australia, the southern United States, Hawaiian Islands, New Guinea, and French Polynesia. The specific name, cordifolia, refers to the heart-shaped leaf.
Menispermaceae is a family of flowering plants. The alkaloid tubocurarine, a neuromuscular blocker and the active ingredient in the 'tube curare' form of the dart poison curare, is derived from the South American liana Chondrodendron tomentosum. Several other South American genera belonging to the family have been used to prepare the 'pot' and 'calabash' forms of curare. The family contains 68 genera with some 440 species, which are distributed throughout low-lying tropical areas with some species present in temperate and arid regions.
Cholestasis is a condition where bile cannot flow from the liver to the duodenum. The two basic distinctions are an obstructive type of cholestasis where there is a mechanical blockage in the duct system that can occur from a gallstone or malignancy, and metabolic types of cholestasis which are disturbances in bile formation that can occur because of genetic defects or acquired as a side effect of many medications. Classification is further divided into acute or chronic and extrahepatic or intrahepatic.
Commiphora wightii, with common names Indian bdellium-tree, gugal, guggul, gugul, or mukul myrrh tree, is a flowering plant in the family Burseraceae, which produces a fragrant resin called gugal, guggul or gugul, that is used in incense and vedic medicine. The species is native to southern Pakistan and western India. It prefers arid and semi-arid climates and is tolerant of poor soil.
Bentazepam is a thienodiazepine which is a benzodiazepine analog.
Spodoptera litura, otherwise known as the tobacco cutworm or cotton leafworm, is a nocturnal moth in the family Noctuidae. S. litura is a serious polyphagous pest in Asia, Oceania, and the Indian subcontinent that was first described by Johan Christian Fabricius in 1775. Its common names reference two of the most frequent host plants of the moth. In total, 87 species of host plants that are infested by S. litura are of economic importance. The species parasitize the plants through the larvae vigorous eating patterns, oftentimes leaving the leaves completely destroyed. The moth's effects are quite disastrous, destroying economically important agricultural crops and decreasing yield in some plants completely. Their potential impact on the many different cultivated crops, and subsequently the local agricultural economy, has led to serious efforts to control the pests.
Clerodane diterpenes, sometimes referred to as clerodane diterpenoids, are a large group of secondary metabolites that have been isolated from several hundreds of different plant species, as well as fungi, bacteria and marine sponges. They are bicyclic terpenes that contain 20 carbons and a decalin core.
Spodoptera littoralis, also referred to as the African cotton leafworm or Egyptian cotton leafworm or Mediterranean brocade, is a species of moth in the family Noctuidae. S. littoralis is found widely in Africa, Mediterranean Europe and Middle Eastern countries. It is a highly polyphagous organism that is a pest of many cultivated plants and crops. As a result, this species was assigned the label of A2 quarantine pest by the EPPO and was cautioned as a highly invasive species in the United States. The devastating impacts caused by these pests have led to the development of both biological and chemical control methods. This moth is often confused with Spodoptera litura.
The Ministry of Ayush, a ministry of the Government of India, is responsible for developing education, research and propagation of traditional medicine systems in India. Ayush is a name devised from the names of the alternative healthcare systems covered by the ministry: Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa, and Homeopathy.
Baidyanath Group is an Indian pharmaceutical firm specialising in Ayurvedic medicines.
Palmatine is a protoberberine alkaloid found in several plants including Phellodendron amurense, Coptis Chinensis and Corydalis yanhusuo, Tinospora cordifolia, Tinospora sagittata, Phellodendron amurense, Stephania yunnanensis.
Bergenia crassifolia is a species of flowering plant of the genus Bergenia in the family Saxifragaceae. Common names for the species include heart-leaved bergenia, heartleaf bergenia, leather bergenia, winter-blooming bergenia, elephant-ears, elephant's ears, Korean elephant-ear, badan, pigsqueak, Siberian tea, and Mongolian tea.
Plant use of endophytic fungi in defense occurs when endophytic fungi, which live symbiotically with the majority of plants by entering their cells, are utilized as an indirect defense against herbivores. In exchange for carbohydrate energy resources, the fungus provides benefits to the plant which can include increased water or nutrient uptake and protection from phytophagous insects, birds or mammals. Once associated, the fungi alter nutrient content of the plant and enhance or begin production of secondary metabolites. The change in chemical composition acts to deter herbivory by insects, grazing by ungulates and/or oviposition by adult insects. Endophyte-mediated defense can also be effective against pathogens and non-herbivory damage.
BGR-34 is an Ayurvedic-derived product that is sold in India as an over-the-counter pill for the management of type 2 diabetes. It was developed in 2015 by two government-owned laboratories and launched commercially in 2016. It has been tested in only one, modest-sized, human trial. The drug has been heavily criticized, and without more clinical trials, its efficacy remains unproven. The manufacturers have refused to acknowledge the claims of inefficacy and other concerns.
Tinospora is a genus of succulent woody climbing shrubs. Thirty-four species are currently recognized. Species generally send down long aerial roots from host trees. They have corky or papery bark. They are found in tropical and sub-tropical parts of Asia, Africa and Australia. The most common species are T. cordifolia and T. crispa.
Cyriac Abby Philips is an Indian hepatologist and clinician-scientist. He is known for his critical views of alternative medicine on social media.